BRASILIA, Brazil, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The Brazilian government has taken delivery of the first two of four armored river patrol boats produced by Colombian shipbuilder Cotecmar.
The PR-40 patrol boats, which will be armed with machine guns, are about 46.6 feet long, can reach speeds of as much as 32 knots and can carry as many as 10 soldiers in addition to crew.
Brazil's Ministry of Defense said the vessels were procured as part of an agreement last year with Colombia to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries.
"It [the order for patrol boats] is not a casual purchase," Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim said. "It is a practical example of something we are saying, we want to build a base for the defense industry in South America.
"Why seek [military equipment] in Europe, the U.S. or anywhere else when you can buy here?"
The first two patrol boats will be used by the Brazilian Army in the north. The two remaining boats -- scheduled for delivery next year -- will be used by the country's Navy.